Well, "Family Prayer Time" didn't go quite as planned again tonight. Andy preferred to read his Bible, Maggie was avidly reading one of the many toy catalogues we've been receiving since, oh, August, and Susie decided to make a game of screaming at increasingly loud levels. After one particularly ear-shattering shriek, I picked her up and moved her into the other room. I could've forced Andy and Maggie to attend to prayer, but somehow it seems counterproductive to a spirit of loving self-giving when you have to use your raised "I AM ABOUT TO LOSE IT" voice.
So, it was down to Marie and me. As we huddled on the couch, I prayed a prayer that I find myself praying all too often: "Help me, God, to be a good parent to these children; give me the wisdom and courage and charity to do what needs to be done. I need your help, because obviously I can't do it on my own!"
Kind of a sad prayer, but Saint Paul reminds us that "boasting" of our weakness to God is our greatest strength: "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought" (Romans 8:26) and "I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me" (2 Cor 12:9).